Skip to main content

Educational Arson


Educational Arson is a book of poetry for anyone who is passionate about anything. The poems in this book use fire as a metaphor for learning and passion in all forms and stages, for learners and teachers alike. You can order a copy at bit.ly/EdArson or for an autographed copy, click here.

Popular posts from this blog

An Open Letter to Mark Barnes

Dear Mr. Barnes,


You are a bully. I know that in your recent blog post, you equated Doug Robertson to “the popular student” who gets others to yell without thinking about intent, but sir, that’s you. You have nearly 10 times the followers as Doug, and yet you continue to insist that you, head of a publishing company and former administrator, and Danny Steele, a principal, again with twice as many followers as Doug, are the outsiders in this situation. That you two are personally being attacked by a “poisonous” leader of a “mob” of thoughtless lemmings.



I take exception to this in many ways, but first, let’s explore why I italicized followers. Because, Mark, that’s what you see people as. You look at this number on social media and see yourself as a leader and all of us as followers. I don’t follow Doug Robertson, I am his friend. I’m lucky enough to know him and his family in real life: we’ve eaten meals together, I’ve played with his kids, and stayed in his spare room. He’s a generous …

Are we there yet?

My kids are really not ready for their band concert today. In fact, for the first time ever, I wanted to cancel a concert. I explained it in a way that I thought would make sense: This is my assessment, and in a grade-level classroom, if students aren't ready for the assessment, you push it back and review. I hoped it would be relatable (and honestly, sound better than, "These kids are really bad at this still and I don't want them to be discouraged/embarrassed/start to hate making music, oh, and this is not the level of performance I want associated with me because I'm a professional musician with standards."

Long story short, we're still having a concert today.

But here's the rub - because I am a professional musician with standards of performance I hold myself to, and because I want these kids to love making music, no one will know that they're not ready. No one will know that I cried in my classroom when I was told that we couldn't cancel the…

THAT kid

My kid just spent the day in in-school suspension.

I mean, I guess it's called "the quiet room" but let's call that spade a spade, shall we? And while we're calling things as they are, my son is a bully. He's the mean kid. He's hurting others physically and with words. And I'm not whether he knows how what he's doing is wrong or whether he just doesn't care.

Either way.

I could make a list of things that could be reasons excuses: he's young for his class but huge for his age. He's a super silly kid who is also very imaginative. He's gifted. He's got terrible impulse control. He's an only child. He's bright enough to be experimenting with sarcasm. Maybe he's a bit of a misanthrope like his mother. In any case, he's apparently gone from "big clumsy puppy" to "bad, bad dog" rather quickly.



I have no idea how to handle this.

Mom-Sarah: Dude. you're in so much trouble. You're grounded for t…